Have you ever been stuck without a date for a friend of family member’s wedding? Well that’s exactly what Mary (Seána Kerslake) is dealing with in A Date for Mad Mary, except Mary’s situation is a little unusual: She’s just gotten out of prison for assault, has managed to alienate pretty much everyone in town, and has a chip the size of Dublin on her shoulder. In other words, she’s got her work cut out for her.
The only person that Mary really cares about is her best friend Charlene (Charleigh Bailey), who is the bride to be in question. Despite being in prison, Charlene asked Mary to be her Maid of Honor, a task for which Mary is neither happy about, nor suited for. Feeling as if life just kept moving and left her behind, Mary goes out in search for a date to the wedding. What she ends up finding is herself.
Oh, and there’s also Jess (Tara Lee) the videographer that Mary is tasked to secure for the wedding. Jess is unlike anyone else Mary knows, and she’s drawn to her in a way she doesn’t quite understand.
The performances in A Date for Mad Mary are top notch, with Seána Kerslake steering the film from Mary’s perspective. You have to dig deep to find Mary’s soft and tender center, but Kerslake does a beautiful job of slowly revealing, then building up Mary’s walls all over again. Mary is far from a lost cause, but she just has to realize that herself. As Charlene, Charleigh Bailey is a former mean girl who has found happiness, and has a soft spot for her best friend, even though Mary does her best to muck things up whenever possible. While the romance of the film might be between Mary and Jess, A Date for Mad Mary is very much about friendship, and how we change and sometimes grow apart from each other.
There were a few things that were unexplored and left me wishing there had been about fifteen minutes more to the film to address them. For example, we never really find out why Mary is indeed so mad.
While not a traditional romance or even a coming out movie, A Date for Mad Mary is a pleasant watch with a few laugh out loud moments, and more importantly, an authentic view of what makes us not only lesbian, bi, or queer, but what makes us human.